On Aug 14, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Fox Chase Bancorp, Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Fox Chase Bancorp's rank upgrade came on the back of enhanced
capital deployment activities as well as impressive second-quarter
Along with the second-quarter earnings release on Jul 30, Fox Chase
Bancorp announced a 20% hike in its quarterly common stock dividend
to 12 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Aug 28 to the
shareholders of record as of Aug 14.
Moreover, the regional bank declared that the board of directors
approved an additional 5% stock buyback plan. The company will
commence the "July 2014 Plan" after the closure of the ongoing
repurchase plan. As of Jun 30, 2014, the bank had 238,529 shares
remaining under the existing plan.
Moving on to the second-quarter earnings, Fox Chase Bancorp
reported impressive quarterly results with a significant rise in
earnings per share to 20 cents from 9 cents in the year-ago
quarter. Moreover, the figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by
Better-than-expected results were achieved by higher net interest
income and fall in non-interest expenses, partially offset by lower
non-interest income. Moreover, reduction in credit related costs,
improved commercial lending portfolios and a strong capital
position were among the positives.
The positive sentiment has been reflected in earnings estimate
revisions. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 11.3%
to 79 cents per share over the last 30 days. For 2015, the Zacks
Consensus Estimate grew 10.5% to 84 cents per share over the same
Other Stocks to Consider
Other Northeast banks worth considering include Square 1 Financial,
), S&T Bancorp Inc. (
) and Territorial Bancorp Inc. (
). All these stocks sport the same Zacks Rank as Fox Chase
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